Higaonon novelist from Bukidnon wins 2011 NCCA prize

Telesforo Sungkit, Jr. with fellow writer Marjorie Evasco during a recent writers' conference Bukidnon News photo courtesy of Shirley O. Lua from Facebook

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News/24 January) The National Commission on Culture and the Arts announced the winners of its 2011 Writer’s Prize, including a Higaonon novelist from Bukidnon who won the Cebuano language novel  category.

Telesforo Sungkit, Jr. of Malitbog and Dalwangan, Malaybalay City won the prize for his novel “Agalon sa mga Balod” (Lord of the Waves).


The 31-year old Sungkit told MindaNews the novel is a story of a young Higaonon Vincenzo Makaindan and his discovery of his supernatural ability to command the waves and other bodies of water. He inherited powers from his ancestor Buuy Pigsugdan, who belonged to the original people of Mindanaw.

The 2011 novel is a sequel to “Mga Gapnod sa Kamad-an” (Driftwoods in the Dryland), which won for him the same award in 2007.


In 2009, Sungkit launched during the Kaamulan his book “Batbat Hi Udan” (The Story of Udan) the first epic novel from Bukidnon.

Janis Claire Salvacion of National Maritime Polytechnic of Cablawan, Tacloban City won the Waray language poetry category for her work Lalay Han Tagdangkan.

Alice Tan Gonzales of the Humanities Division of the University of the Philippines in the Visayas in Miag-ao, Iloilo won the Panay language short story category for her work Alimango kag iban pa nga Sugilanon.

Engr. Abdon Balde Jr won the Bicolano language essay competition for his work Sa Runa Kan Ibalong Paghaman sa Epikong Bikolano.


The winner will receive P250,000 gross prize. The contestants were made to submit a 50-page part of the story. If they win, they will be given a year to finish the manuscript.                                                             

The NCCA Writers’ Prize is a biennial award given to five writers, one for each of the following categories:  Poetry (Waray language),  Novel (Cebuano language), Essay (Bicolano  language), Short Story (Panay  language) and Drama (Filipino language). 


The NCCA with a mission to “encourage the continuing development of a pluralistic culture by the people themselves,” intended the award as an opportunity to have a direct hand in the development of Filipino literature.


The prize will be awarded in February 2012 in time for the Philippine Arts Festival, according to the NCCA website. (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News)


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